Thanks to generous readers of NewsofStJohn.com, and others, the Animal Care Center will not close next week.
Alarms were sounded late last week by ACC board members that the "no kill" shelter would have to close at the end of August because it was broke. The volunteer organization was in dire shape, financially overwhelmed by the expenses of operating, caring for, and housing about 60 dogs, puppies, kittens and cats.
Despite what seem to be fund raisers held quarterly, all of which were described as "successful" a day later, the $13,000 monthly operating budget was not being met. "Fund raising is not enough. Know any grant writers who could help us," said the ACC's Jennifer Dale.
Many readers of this Web site responded to our story published Friday. John Fuller, the ACC's Treasurer, said nearly 100 people contributed $5 to $1,000, totaling nearly $7.400. "We're not out of the woods yet," he said. One source said the ACC now has enough money to operate to the middle of October, when another fund raiser is planned.
But the organization's leaders know it can't keep living on pleas, yard sales, and costume parties.
Dale said the group is working to develop a business plan that insures the costs of staff, food, medicines, veterinarians and more can be met. Fund raising pitches will be made to public and private groups with an objective of having a long-range outlook rather than lurching from crisis to crisis.
What the shelter needs, literally, is a Big Dog … someone (or someones) who would agree to fund an annual operating budget so there is some security and certainty for the cats and dogs.